In the midst of the California Gold Rush, twelve-year-old Sarah and her family are living in the North as free Black people. Seeking a better life, Sarah’s parents decide they will venture west on the Oregon Trail. On the trail, Sarah and her family face all kinds of hardship, including racism, extreme weather, difficult terrain, and disease. But the journey will be worth it if they can find fortune in California. Will Sarah and her family endure the trail and make a new life out west? Nonfiction material on the Oregon Trail, a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts are also provided.
Nikki Shannon Smith is from Oakland, California, but she now lives in the Central Valley with her husband and two children. She has worked in Elementary Education for over twenty-five years, and writes everything from picture books to young adult novels. When she’s not busy with family, work, or writing, she loves to visit the coast. The first thing she packs in her suitcase is always a book.